Call for (Specific) Chapters: The Routledge Research Companion to Toni Morrison (new deadline: 7/1/22)

deadline for submissions: 
July 1, 2022
full name / name of organization: 
Maureen E. Ruprecht Fadem
contact email: 

Call for Chapters:


The Routledge Research Companion to Toni Morrison

Editor: Maureen E. Ruprecht Fadem, CUNY


This is a call for chapter proposals for The Routledge Research Companion to Toni Morrison. This companion text is intended for a scholarly audience and as support for newer Morrison scholars as they approach their research.


Each chapter of the book has a dual function: to offer a new reading of Morrison and to review the Morrison scholarship in whatever general terrain the chapter falls within:


1)     Different from some companion texts, the Routledge Research Companion series publishes cutting-edge research rather than (mostly) secondary material. The secondary nature of such a companion—that it informs readers about scholarly trends and history or generally accepted understandings of an author and her work—is, in this case, to be built into each chapter. Each chapter is to point the way forward in terms of new directions in the study, interpretation, and theorization of Morrison’s oeuvre and, they are to review, in a thoroughgoing manner, existing scholarship on the topic area or theme of the chapter, to fill out the picture in terms of where and what Morrison studies has been, what scholars have been thinking, writing, and arguing since she started publishing through to today.


2)     Largely what we want to accomplish here is to tell the history of Morrison studies, through those reviews, and importantly to create a vision for it going forward, for the 21st Century. That is, to think beyond some of the more or less entrenched, perhaps restrictive, borders around the reception and interpretation of Morrison, some of the givens. How do we think beyond those limits or outside accustomed responses to Morrison? How create new and fruitful passages, meanings, readings, new knowledges inspired by the work of this African American woman writer and thinker, also a universally celebrated Nobel Laureate?


For example my chapter reads the character of Beloved intertextually across and through Morrison’s own oeuvre. Morrison spoke, in interview, about the character appearing in multiple novels in a new guise each time. I decided to take the challenge up of “finding her,” first in the novels paired with Beloved as trilogy – Paradise and Jazz – and then beyond those, including A Mercy, as well as potentially SulaThe Bluest Eye, Home and Love. (It’s under development, I am not certain which of those will make it into the final chapter.) My argument will be something touching the life of this figure as the material, bodily “presence” of Morrison’s radical politics, across and through her fictional writing, a force within it that, over the decades of Morrison studies, has gotten truncated, whitewashed, and watered down. My chapter in an overall sense will offer a critique of that problem in the scholarship through the object lesson of multi-present figure, Beloved. That said, the first task for me in this chapter will be to review relevant scholarship in my topic area; that topic area, as far as I can see, is all of the scholarship on Beloved, the novel, and then another piece that looks at scholarship focused particularly on the title character. In addition, I will look for any work that already looks at intertextuality within Morrison’s oeuvre. That’s a lot of scholarship; however, such reviews do not require us to address every single publication, etc. We are simply offering a thorough, helpful review of that “world” of Morrison scholarship. Reviewing the scholarship is something we do in any scholarly work, of course; in this instance, because a Companion volume, we simply offer a more thoroughgoing review, more than would typically be seen. (I offer this summary just to illustrate the dual function of each chapter.)


Your chapter proposal could be on any topic. We are particularly anxious to see proposals however on the following topics, owing to their importance to Morrison's oeuvre and to the scholarship on it:


Race / racism / antiracism

Morrison: Trauma, Memory, History

Women's studies / feminist approaches


Importantly, any chapter of this collection should not be restricted to a single work by Morrison; all should work with multiple works from the oeuvre. And, each chapter of the book is eligible for Open Access, for those interested in that or whose universities encourage it. Open Access can mean greater exposure, both for the book and for the individual scholar's contribution.


A one- or two-page proposal is due by 7/1/22, including a Bio and being sure to make the methodology clear: where, how, in what ways does your chapter enter and fit into the conversation on Morrison on your topic, what you are innovating or primarily responding to; this should be clear as well as some of the theoretical scaffolding for chapter. (This could either be a separate statement, a working bibliography, or simply made clear through the content of your proposal.)


Email it to:  by 7/1/22. That is a final deadline. It gives Morrison scholars time in early summer to prepare a proposal; and, it gives me time in late summer to put the prospectus together for Routledge and get it submitted before Fall classes begin.


In the meantime, questions or suggestions, if there is anything you would like to discuss, please don’t hesitate to reach out:  (My Bio is copied, below, if helpful.)


~Maureen Ellen Ruprecht, The City University of New York (Kingsborough)




BioMaureen E. Ruprecht Fadem (she/her) completed a Ph.D. in English at The Graduate Center-CUNY under the mentorship of Wayne Koestenbaum. She is Professor of English at Kingsborough-CUNY and has taught at The Graduate Center-CUNY, Drew University, Hunter College-CUNY, and Eugene Lang College. She is a postcolonial scholar working on Anglophone writing of the late twentieth and twenty-first centuries. Maureen specializes in historical literature, particularly that of Ireland and African America, as well as the wider literatures of partition. Her research looks at imperial borders and national partition, at political justice, especially reparations, at social justice of race, class, and gender, and at the poetics of conflict, trauma, and silence in poetry and in prose. She presents her work often at conferences and will give a talk in June 2022 at the Société Française d'Etudes Irlandaises, New Sorbonne University, Paris: “Soft Power Solidarities and the Decolonizing World: Possibilities for Imperial Reckoning.” The monograph Silence and Articulacy in the Poetry of Medbh McGuckian was brought out by Rowman and Littlefield in 2019. In 2020, Routledge published Maureen’s book titled Objects and Intertexts in Toni Morrison’s ‘Beloved’: The Case for Reparations, and a collection she co-edited, The Economics of Empire. The journal article “Architecting the Carceral State: The Fragment in Medbh McGuckian’s Diaries and Walter Benjamin’s ‘Theses’” appeared in Review of Irish Studies in Europe (Dec. 2021). And, the opinion piece “‘Going Public’ with the Humanities in a Fake News World” was published in Inside Higher Ed, April 4, 2022. Other recent articles include “A Consciousness of Streets: Reflections on the Origin and Spread of Partition” (Synthesis, 2016) and “Drawing the Border, Queering the Nation: Nation Trouble in Breakfast on Pluto and The Crying Game” (Gender Forum, 2016). Maureen is at work on three monographs: the collection (and series) Imperial Debt, on reparations for empire;she was commissioned to edit The Routledge Research Companion to Toni Morrison; and, she’s writing the single-author volume, Poetics of the Fragment. Also under development is a comparative chapter on Joyce’s “The Dead” and postcolonial fiction that uses a triptych from the story—snow, silence, and sleep—as chief allegory. Maureen is now serving a three-year term on the MLA Committee on Academic Freedom and Professional Rights and Responsibilities (CAFPRR).